Support in setting up a Shibboleth SP

Dave Perry Dave.Perry at
Fri Aug 14 04:48:04 EDT 2015

Hi Tony

The first step is to get the Shibboleth SP installed, configured and tested to work for your institution's user - presumably your own institution's IdP (read login server) administrators can help with the testing logins bit.
Get a list of 'required' attributes together for the other institution users too - e.g, our own IdP releases a unique ID (hashed from the username) and affiliation information (Staff or Student)

Once it works in house, you should probably get the SP published in the UK Federation metadata (UKF may chime on this point due it being 'just' 6 other universities you need to allow access to).
If it's registered in the federation, the other universities' IdPs will get the 'how to talk to your application' information/signature stuff easily as part of a process they're doing automatically anyway.

You'll then need to go back to the SP configuration, and change it to allow the institutions you're working with's login servers to talk to your SP. And, if applicable, make sure it's only letting the right people through.
NOTE - I have no experience of this bit, so someone else will need to chime in the finer points.
Or you could just allow all IdPs to login to your app, and do some filtering within the webapp - but I don't know how practical that is, for your app.

Dave Perry
eLearning Technologist, Hull College Group

Room L34 - Queens Gardens Library
Wilberforce Drive, Queen's Gardens, Hull, HU1 3DG
Extension 2230 / Direct Dial 01482 381930

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From: users [mailto:users-bounces at] On Behalf Of Tony Wheatman
Sent: 13 August 2015 14:45
To: users at
Subject: Support in setting up a Shibboleth SP


Sorry for just dropping this e-mail upon you but I hope you can help with a Shibboleth SP implementation we are undertaking at the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom).

I am the project manager and we are undertaking a project around a Confluence Workspace site that hosts something called the Virtual Postgraduate Platform.

The VPP is used by a consortia of 6 universities and currently the user experience is poor due to an authentication method which means associate accounts being set up for each user so that they have access to the site hosted at UoN from the other institutions. Resulting in several accounts for each user, which is far from ideal.

We have been in negotiation around making this a shibbolized (I hope that is the correct terminology !) solution, allowing single sign on based on the sharing of attributes from each University and the setup of the UoN as a Service Provider.

We have now opted for this as a solution, but we are struggling with resource at the moment and the deadline of the 21st September, could be at risk. I am therefore reaching out to you for support and to understand what support is out there, what the availability is like and what if any, the cost would be.

I have spoken to Alex at the UKFederation, who has suggested that this may be a good forum to seek assistance.

What I'm looking for is;
-              General guidance on how to do this
-              A list of tasks that need to be completed
-              Associated timescales
-              Potential 3rd party resources to draft in the expertise

If you can help on any aspect of this I would appreciate it greatly I'm looking at every way possible at the moment to ensure successful delivery as we believe that we do not have the necessary skills in house.

Many thanks,

Tony Wheatman
Senior Project Manager
Information Services
The University of Nottingham
Kings Meadow Campus
t: +44 (0) 115 84 68613

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